By Dave Spencer and John Robbins / Fightnews Canada
IBF super middleweight champion Lucian Bute (25-0, 20 KOs) scored a fourth round KO over Librado Andrade (28-3, 21 KOs) on Saturday night Colisee Pepsi in Quebec City, Canada. Bute knocked down the normally iron-jawed Andrade with a left hook in round four then floored him for the count moments later with a body shot. Time 2:57.
In a clash for the vacant IBF lightweight, Ali Funeka (30-2-3, 25 KOs) battered and busted up unbeaten former two-division world champion Joan Guzman (29-0-1, 17 KOs) over twelve rounds but only came away with a controversial draw. Scores were 116-112, 114-114, 114-114. The title remains vacant.
Photos: Mike Greenhill
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Undefeated super-middleweight Lucian Bute (25-0 20KO) avoided any possible controversy Saturday night by knocking the usually ironed jawed Librado Andrade (28-3 21KO) at 2:57 of the fourth round, retaining his IBF world championship in front of an enthusiastic capacity crowd of 16,473 at the Pepsi Coliseum in Quebec City.
American referee Benjy Esteves counted the full ten after Bute landed a devastating left uppercut to the midsection of Andrade who tried but couldn’t get up.
“I thought I was okay, but once I tried to get up I just couldn’t,” said Andrade after the fight. “It was a perfect a shot. As long as I see it, they can’t hurt me, but with Lucian, I didn’t see the shots. He hurt me to the body and that was it, I really couldn’t get up.”
Bute had scored a knockdown earlier in the round, spinning out of the corner and countering with a perfect short left hook, dropping the rugged Mexican born fighter on all fours. It was a shot that Andrade would not recover from.
“I was thinking I was keeping my hands up, but he really got me with that left hook.”
Bute becomes the first boxer to stop Andrade whose three losses have all come in world championship fights. Former two-time champion Mikkel Kessler is the only other fighter to be successful against Andrade.
“The first thing I told (trainer) Howard (Grant) after we walked into the locker room was, I said Howard, you got to make me a better boxer. I think this taught me tonight that I want to become a better boxer.”
Bute was making the 4th defense of his IBF crown and his second against Andrade who pushed the charismatic left-hander to the limit in their initial matchup 13 months ago, knocking down the exhausted champion with just seconds left. The bout was marred with controversy as the Andrade camp had felt that they had done enough to secure the victory.
Andrade who lives in La Habra California and trains in Montreal under Howard Grant won the right for a rematch with a win this past April in an elimination fight against Vitaly Tyspko.
Confident of his abilities, Bute again echoed what he had been saying leading up to the fight that he was only guilty of making a small mistake the first time round. “I said it was a mistake and tonight I proved that, tonight you saw the real Lucian Bute. Andrade proved to be great opponent, a great fighter and he is a great friend.”
Bute who had dominated the first fight for the first eleven-and-a-half rounds was no different this night, pounding out a stiff jab and scoring crisp combinations.
Andrade pressed the action from the beginning, coming forward but having a hard time catching up to the slick powerful southpaw who used the entire ring circling away from his powerful opponent.
The second rounds saw Bute using his jab more but also firing uncharacteristically wild at times trying to get the respect of his granite chinned opponent. Bute was willing to take one to land four and then was able to get out of harms way. Still, while losing rounds as he had done in the first fight, it looked as if Andrade was landing more and eating less than the first time around, something that might serve him well in the later rounds.
It never got that far.
“I feel that I’m the best super-middleweight in the world right now,” said the undefeated fighter. “I’m willing to face anybody in the world.”
In the Co-Main Event at the sold-out Pepsi Coliseum, in Quebec City, Quebec, an unstoppable force in undefeated Dominican Republic fighter, #2 ranked Joan “Little Tyson” Guzman, faced off against a giant immovable object in South Africa’s #1 ranked, Ali “Rush Hour” Funeka, for the vacant IBF Lightweight Championship. In an amazing war of a big man versus shorter man that brought the crowd in Quebec to their feet over and over again, the only disappointment in this bout as heard in the Colisee, was the announcement majority draw decision. Both Canadian judges, Benoit Roussel and Alan Davis scored the fight even at 114-114 while American Joseph Pasquale gave the nod to Funeka by a 116-112 count. There is no doubting this fight was a back and forth war, with Guzman taking the lead early and Funeka dominating toward the end.
When asked if he won the fight while still inside the ring, Funeka responded simply with a “definitely” bringing a huge ovation from the fans in attendance who obviously saw the fight going in favour of Funeka as well. With the title remaining vacant, a bloodied, and cut (due to an accidental head-butt) Guzman see’s his record go to 29-0-1 (17KO) while Ali Funeka will now sit at 30-2-3 (25KO). A rematch nearly has to be inevitable as the two top ranked IBF lightweights definitely put on an outstanding spectacle in Quebec City.
Pier-Olivier Cote made his true hometown debut when he stepped through the ropes to face the tough kid from Newfoundland, Jason Hayward for the vacant Canadian Super Featherweight Title. Cote absolutely owned the entire fight as Hayward simply stuck behind his peek-a-boo guard, taking the few and far between opportunities to let his hands go, while a relentless “Apou” didn’t waste any time in racking up an early lead; and Cote never did let up. Hayward deserves full credit for his heart as the much more refined, and extremely superior skilled Cote, laid an absolute beating on the Newfoundlander. But even though he had many opportunities to do so, Hayward never did quit. The impressive performance was reflected on the score cards as 100-90 (x2) and 99-91, the New Canadian Super Featherweight Champion, Pier-Olivier Cote extends his record to 9-0 (6KO). Hayward slides to 6-8-1 in defeat.
Middleweight Craig McEwan retained his perfect record, moving to 17-0 with a 79-73, 78-74, 77-75 decision over James Parison, handing the San Diego fighter his first defeat in a battle of undefeated fighters at the Quebec Colisee in part of the undercard action of the sold-out Lucian Bute versus Librado Andrade card. The Scottish import who is promoted by Golden Boy got off to strong start but had too many lapses of inactivity during the eight round bout where Parison was able to land some flush shots. As early as the second round McEwan ate two lefts hooks right on the chin but remained unfazed by the shots that had little mustard on them from the light hitting Parison who has just three knockouts in thirteen fights. By the fifth round Parison was sucking wind and was wild and clumsy in the middle of the ring, but forced back to the ropes by a pursuing McEwan, was again able to counter with some solid right hands. The sixth was almost a mirror of the previous round, this time though with the southpaw suffering a cut over his right eye. The flush shots served as warning enough for McEwan who tried to keep the action in the middle of he ring down the stretch but was severely warned and action stopped for a blow behind the head on Parison who had turned his back on the action.
Welterweight Kevin Bizier fought for the first time in his hometown of Quebec City and gave his hometown fans plenty to cheer about for just over a minute. Bizier destroyed Patrick Kane, dropping the Minnesota fighter twice before referee Gerry Bolen stepped in and stopped the action. The undefeated fighter hurt and dropped the out-matched Cane with a left to the body quickly and had no problems following up moments later with a second knockdown that stopped the fight. It goes down as the 7th victory and the 4th stoppage for Bizier who was welcomed with a loud ovation from what will be a sold out Colisee crowd.
In the opening bout, Leonardo Rojas got taken to school by a far superior Keith Thurman of Largo, Florida. The fight only lasted 2 rounds, as right from the opening bell welterweight Thurman was finding a home for both his straight right hand, and his left hook. The unyielding connects opened up a cut over Rojas’ left eye towards the end of the 1st, and both cheeks on Rojas showed early signs that Thurman was in a class of his own. Thurman dropped his opponent to a knee with a right uppercut early in the 2nd round. Rojas would find himself in somewhat of an ambush, tasting the canvas twice more before referee Alain Villeneuve stopped the punishment at 2:07 . With the win, Thurman improves to 12-0, (11 KO) while Rojas drops to 7-9-3.